Blackwater Honey was co-founded in 2020 by brothers Andrew & John Shinnick. Their name and inspiration comes from the river Blackwater in County Cork. They are 3rd generation beekeepers who have amassed over 60years of practical experience and run, a mainly hobbyist, bee farming business based prodimently in Co. Cork.
Their multi award winning honey (1 Star in the Guild of Fine Food – Great Taste Award & Great Taste Producer, Gold medal in Blas na hEireann, overall winner of the food category – Irish Made Awards 2021 and award winner in the Irish Quality Food & Drink Awards 2021) is 100% Natural with nothing added and made by native Irish honey bees – Apis Mellifera Mellifera. They have several apiaries throughout Ireland, whereby each one produces its own distinctive taste, colour and honey flavour.
Their aim is to produce artisan honey products; high quality mated Queens along with supplying strong & healthy nucleus colony packages from native Irish honey bees. They also continue to breed bees with an increased prevalence for Varroa tolerance in order to reduce the dependency on chemical treatments.
Blackwater Honey are members of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association (FIBKA), the Irish Beekeeping Association (CLG) along with being a firm supporter & member of the Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS), whose aim is also to promote the native Irish honey bee, Apis Mellifera Mellifera (AMM).
BIODIVERSITY & SUSTAINABILITY
They are huge supporters of biodiversity and with wanting to improving pollinator habitats. They continue to support and endorse the All Ireland Pollination Plan whereby they routinely give away free wildflower seeds with all of honey honey jar gift packages and nucleus colonies. They utilise 100 % recyclable and sustainable packaging in all of the products whilst trying not to use any single use plastics in their business.
AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
They have a strong online social media presence whereby they give helpful tips and advise on all things beekeeping.
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Meet the Blackwater Team
Andrew is currently, a full time Army Officer with the Irish Defence Forces. He learned the art of beekeeping from an early age from both of his uncles, both of whom were beekeepers. As he grew older, Andrew started to become more self aware of the great risks being posed to our planet due to global warming and from the lack of biodiversity and the threat being posed to the Native Irish Honeybee in particular.
In 2017, Andrew decided it was time to take up beekeeping full-time in order to encourage others to look after their local environment. In 2020, he set up Blackwater Honey with his younger brother, John, who now makes up the other half of the Blackwater Honey team. Andrew maintains all of the social media, marketing, web orders, liaising with clients and maintains the hives in Dublin. He also oversees their Queen rearing program and does the Heather Honey each year.
A full-time dairy farmer, John also learnt the art of beekeeping from both of his two uncles from an early age. He is a natural handyman and can turn his hands to almost anything. When not farming or looking after his family, you can find him checking on his colonies of bees. He enjoys motorcycling and he likes nothing further than to relax with his kids or to spend some time relaxing whilst salmon fishing on the banks of the river Blackwater which flows alongside the farm.
John looks after all of the hives located in Cork and has the added responsibility for maintainence of all of the hive components due to his handyman skills. He also oversees the Nuc rearing programme each year.